Join the Munk School of Global Affairs’ Janice Stein in conversation with author Bessma Momani about her new book Arab Dawn: Arab Youth and the Demographic Dividend they will Bring.
In the West, news about the Middle East is dominated by an endless stream of reports and commentary about civil war, sectarian violence, religious extremism, and economic stagnation. But do they tell the full story? For instance, who knew that university enrolment in the war-torn Palestinian territories exceeds that of Hong Kong, or that more than a third of Lebanese entrepreneurs are women?
Change is on its way in the Middle East, argues Bessma Momani, and its cause is demographic. Today, one in five Arabs is between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four. Young, optimistic, and increasingly cosmopolitan, their generation will shape the region’s future. Drawing on interviews, surveys, and other research conducted with young people in fifteen countries across the Arab world, Momani describes the passion for entrepreneurship, reform, and equality among Arab youth. With insightful political analysis based on the latest statistics and first-hand accounts, Arab Dawn is an invigorating study of the Arab world and the transformative power of youth.
Bessma Momani is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo and the Balsillie School of International Affairs, a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, and a 2015 fellow at the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation.